My slice vs Roger’s

Curious

Legend
I’m in a little obsessive mode regarding slice technique last few days. Is there any major difference in terms of basic features of the motion in general or am I pretty much doing the same thing as him?
What I’m concerned about is the type of take back and the change in racket face orientation during the forward swing up to contact. Especially the use of pronation/supination and ESR.


 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
IMHO, you are closing the racket face too much/too soon. Also, it doesn't look like you are fully straightening your elbow/hitting arm during the shot/follow-through?

Wawrinka also has a great slice BH (slightly different technique than Fed but close).

Look how open his racket face is throughout the swing compared to yours (slice at 2:50). Also note that he fully straightens his elbow during the shot.

 
I’m in a little obsessive mode regarding slice technique last few days. Is there any major difference in terms of basic features of the motion in general or am I pretty much doing the same thing as him?
What I’m concerned about is the type of take back and the change in racket face orientation during the forward swing up to contact. Especially the use of pronation/supination and ESR.


Your take back looks good, but a few differences I saw in your shadow swings and the Fed clip:

1) Contact height: Roger is making contact at chest height with the ball, while your stroke looks to be more waist level.

2) torso rotation: Roger keeps his torso turned so that his hips and shoulders are roughly perpendicular to the net. It’s why he has that sideways follow through that’s become so iconic to the modern slice BH. Your is rotating into and through contact. This will result in you hitting without the full extension needed to maximize control and spin. Look at 0:05-0:08 in your video.

3) swing path: Roger’s hand goes down and forward, hitting through the ball at contact. This is why his slice has that low trajectory when he drives it. Your hand goes down and forward, but mainly downward. Your arm is still bent at contact and your follow through shows that you’re hitting around the ball at contact. Look at 0:25 in your video to see what I mean. This is linked to torso rotation and I think that if you don’t turn your body into the shot this would fix itself. If you stay sideways you’ll be forced to hit through the ball and the sideways follow through will happen naturally because it’s the only place for the racquet to go.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Curious

Legend
you are closing the racket face too much/too soon.
it doesn't look like you are fully straightening your elbow/hitting arm during the shot/follow-through?
Considering racket face needs to be near vertical to the ground at contact, does it mean my contact point would be not much out in front?
Regarding elbow straightening there’s some joint flexibility issue.
Contact height: Roger is making contact at chest height with the ball, while your stroke looks to be more waist level.
This depends on the ball, no ball with shadow swings.
At your takeback your wrist is laid back but at contact, you've let it get more neutral. It needs to stay laid back.
This is an interesting and controversial point. Yes most good slicers have a bent back wrist at take back but they all go neutral at contact.
torso rotation: Roger keeps his torso turned so that his hips and shoulders are roughly perpendicular to the net. It’s why he has that sideways follow through that’s become so iconic to the modern slice BH. Your is rotating into and through contact.
Easy power needs to come from torso and hip rotation but now I see your point, Roger completes his rotation before contact which allows him to extend forward. “Rotating into the ball” sounds like a bad idea.
 

Curious

Legend
This racket bent back at take back thing is very strange and interesting stuff.
What does it do?
Changes the orientation of hitting face of racket significantly, like about 90 degrees, provides an additional torque but consistency may suffer if you’re not skilled enough. So why not just start neutral and go neutral all the way with less variables?! We can all afford sacrificing some power. Even Berdych did well with neutral all the way. Wawrinka as well though to a lesser degree of being neutral.



 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
This racket bent back at take back thing is very strange and interesting stuff.
What does it do?
Changes the orientation of hitting face of racket significantly, like about 90 degrees, provides an additional torque but consistency may suffer if you’re not skilled enough. So why not just start neutral and go neutral all the way with less variables?! We can all afford sacrificing some power. Even Berdych did well with neutral all the way. Wawrinka as well though to a lesser degree of being neutral.



Federer, wawrika and you ,, everybody is doing it wrong. This is how you make the Slice into a Weapon.

 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Fed holds that frame high for so long, that is the real key to a good BH slice.

The shadow swinging stuff is total rubbish in this area. Very much a timing thing.
 

Curious

Legend
Fed holds that frame high for so long, that is the real key to a good BH slice.

The shadow swinging stuff is total rubbish in this area. Very much a timing thing.
Looking for simplicity and reliability.
This is another great example for uncomplicated neutral wrist swing, similar to Berdych’s above.



 

badteeth

Rookie
Should have filmed some of that 2 hour slice session.. shadow swinging footage just comes off as cheap and no use to you or anybody trying to give advice
 

Curious

Legend
Murray’s slice is deadly and what’s more he can play it from any position to any position. He is arguably one of the best players of all time. So, pretty good.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Would you say he has more of an old school slice? A bit of pronation before the forward swing starts, lowering the racket head, then squares it up to the ball with supination + external shoulder rotation.
 

Curious

Legend
Curious! My friend you are hitting across and not through the ball. Try to step down the court and through the shot, driving the racquet toward the target. In doing so let the the left leg come around, don’t “withdraw” the right


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Thank you. Realised that after @One Handed Dynasty put it nicely. My rotation continues into and after the ball creating that across the body swing. I should rotate until contact and stay sideways after that. From that point on you simply don’t need any power generated from rotation. Great point IMO.
 
Would you say he has more of an old school slice? A bit of pronation before the forward swing starts, lowering the racket head, then squares it up to the ball with supination + external shoulder rotation.
Interesting. Murray definitely tends to use it as more of a defensive shot. Not unusual since he is a two handed BH player capable of good offense when his feet are set.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

Curious

Legend
My rotation continues into and after the ball creating that across the body swing. I should rotate until contact and stay sideways after that. From that point on you simply don’t need any power generated from rotation.
Just to add to that, Federer’s rotation seems like going on even after contact but that’s only part of the follow through, mine is still the hard swing pulling and opening up my chest , which is an issue of course.
 

Curious

Legend
You are not doing proper split step. Can you slice like this in a match? :cool: :cool: :cool:
It’s impossible to split step with a ball machine as it’s too late once the ball comes off the machine. But match play is a different story as we all know, to answer your question.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
On some (not all) of your strokes, you are throwing your left hand backwards too early and it's causing you to lift your head and pull off the ball. That's what's causing the extra rotation. Your back is almost arched backwards on contact, when you should have your head (and your weight) over your front (right) knee as you drive forward.

Try just going down the line, keeping your shoulders closed until impact. I'd forget the left arm until you can consistently do that. When you start really pushing your weight forward and toppling over after impact, incorporate the left arm for balance only. Right now it's upsetting your balance and weight transfer before the shot, rather than helping it after.

Once you've got that sorted, go cross court with the same shot, left arm only extending to stop you from toppling forward .. not pulling you away from the ball before contact.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
From a week ago.


You are swatting at the ball man. Noticed with shadow swing but even more obvious with live ball. You hit kind OH drive BH but with some backspin. For a slice you are expected to avoid that flick, hold structure.
Also consider type of incoming ball. Fed-like cutting slice works against decent pace. You come from high takeback and cut it steeply. If you face a slower ball, you need to create some pace, hence you go more with Graf type of motion, more horizontal.
 

Curious

Legend
You are swatting at the ball man. Noticed with shadow swing but even more obvious with live ball. You hit kind OH drive BH but with some backspin. For a slice you are expected to avoid that flick, hold structure.
Also consider type of incoming ball. Fed-like cutting slice works against decent pace. You come from high takeback and cut it steeply. If you face a slower ball, you need to create some pace, hence you go more with Graf type of motion, more horizontal.
I hate to be doing that but I guess you’re right it’s still more arm driven.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I hate to be doing that but I guess you’re right it’s still more arm driven.
Well it’s supposed to be arm-driven, off the shoulder joint. But I’d avoid adding power from left-to-right stringbed rotation. Racquet might lag some as forward swing starts and recoil into contact. But not be swung to slap the ball, that destroys precision and robs the shot of spin. For good slices you see finishes either across - racquet head down, handle up, stringbed still facing the target; or forward and up - racquet head to the right, stringbed opening up.
 

Curious

Legend
Well it’s supposed to be arm-driven, off the shoulder joint. But I’d avoid adding power from left-to-right stringbed rotation. Racquet might lag some as forward swing starts and recoil into contact. But not be swung to slap the ball, that destroys precision and robs the shot of spin. For good slices you see finishes either across - racquet head down, handle up, stringbed still facing the target; or forward and up - racquet head to the right, stringbed opening up.
Do you mean wristy by slap-like ie wrist flexion/extension ? Or rotation of the racket face from open to close towards the ball?
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Try hitting shorter/easier balls. You try to hit baseline-to-baseline, and unless you return a fast ball it requires powering, swinging your shot. You’ll likely loop from behind the baseline, or float a deep high ball if slice, if there’s no incoming power to work with.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
From a week ago.


Really good work sir ... you have really improved your slice ... lots of hard work and reps. (y) btw ... love those windows in that room. I have a sunroom, but not that room/window height.

You have @IowaGuy and @BounceHitBounceHit in the thread, so not much point to me adding comments ... but you know that will not stop me. 8-B

- your rec level will improve by having an accurate low UE slice with variety (low short shots, deeper cc and dtl, different net clearance per shot/need, etc). Just forget about the pace, offense, how much backspin ... variety and accuracy much bigger payoff. Even a small amount of backspin on a low trajectory shot will keep the ball low ... hard for opponent. Add the pace later once you can nail your targets. You already have that IowaDude rh behind head magic ... you can pull that pace trigger when you decide.

- looks like you are hitting your 1hbh slice with bh eastern grip. If so ... stop that ... continental is 1hbh slice first class ... don't want to be stuck in cabin.

- I would split the difference between @Dragy 's "hold the structure" and instructor above (coach Steven) teaching the "power arm roll/snap thing on high balls". btw ... coach Steven hits a very nice 1hbh slice imo. What I mean is ... I view the slice more of a touch shot like a volley than full groundstroke drive, with much variety including follow through length, ect. You have to have some play at arm and hand for touch. I think that is what the rf pointing up in backswing provides ... from there a very relaxed arm roll into contact provides that "play" needed for touch. Just thought of this ... but perhaps 1hbh drop shots should be a companion drill with 1hbh slices. It's all in the hands man. 8-B

- Several said the same thing ... but @BounceHitBounceHit frickin nailed it with:

"In doing so let the the left leg come around, don’t “withdraw” the right"

If that was the only comment you got in this thread you would leave a winner. Your body (maybe your mind ... scary in there :p ) really hasn't bought into the "get your full body weight up on that right leg BEFORE". It's the same on closed stance 1hbh drives, 1hbh slice, 2hbhs. It really shows up on my 1hbh drive ... my technique and strength aren't good enough to overcome not be anchored on the right leg.

I like your stroke ... simply get anchored, don't rotate through contact and oh yeah ... switch to continental if not already. That last one will sting a little on time required.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Really good work sir ... you have really improved your slice ... lots of hard work and reps. (y) btw ... love those windows in that room. I have a sunroom, but not that room/window height.
That's a nice sun room isn't it? My sister has one and we ate our family meal in it. Very nice, drove my wife crazy about getting one!

Did you build yours or it came with the house? Curious



Oh nice slice. You'll destroy alot of unbendable old men with those slices. :)
 
From a week ago.


Lol leagues and miles better than those shadow swings! The only thing I’d say would really be worth working on is rotating your hips earlier so that all of that energy is transferred into your shoulder extending into contact. Less moving parts at contact is easier to time in a match.

A good drill that also lets you practice your slice BH approach shots and footwork is to set your ball machine to feed you short balls to your backhand side and then hit slice approach shots while doing a grapevine step into contact. It forces your hips to stop rotating so you can get the feel for hip shoulder separation and the kinetic transfer.

Also, and this might get resolved on its own if you get the timing of your hip and shoulder separation and rotation down, your set up is a little late. In some of the shots your still taking a step forward with your right foot and coiling after the ball bounces. I would try and be fully coiled and either fully set or finishing stepping into the shot by then. Ideally you want to start uncoiling when the ball bounces. That will give you enough time to straighten you arm and let the shoulder act as the hinge.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
That's a nice sun room isn't it? My sister has one and we ate our family meal in it. Very nice, drove my wife crazy about getting one!

Did you build yours or it came with the house? Curious



Oh nice slice. You'll destroy alot of unbendable old men with those slices. :)
Mine came with the house. A previous owner had it added on to the back of the house (extends from the dining room). It's a cool looking room ... with 6ft windows and a lot of cedar trim. The problem is I don't believe the windows are tempered glass, and if one ever breaks I probably have an expensive issue matching/replacing five 6' x 3' pieces of tempered glass. Code requires either tempered glass, or less height (I don't remember what is allowable), so you could turn that into 10 3' windows, but I would not want to.
 

Mountain Ghost

Semi-Pro
No matter WHAT anyone might see the pros do ... NOBODY on this forum should have a variable racquet face angle through the forward stroke of a slice backhand ... ... ... from behind the ear ... down to contact ... and to follow through. Aside from a SLIGHT lowering of the arm from the shoulder prior to contact ... the ONLY real "flexibility" in the stroke is an extension of the elbow ... from 90 degrees (at racquet-back) ... to straight (at contact). The wrist is firm throughout ... the strongest natural angle between racquet throat and forearm being about 130 degrees ... which also does NOT change ~ MG
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Mine came with the house. A previous owner had it added on to the back of the house (extends from the dining room). It's a cool looking room ... with 6ft windows and a lot of cedar trim. The problem is I don't believe the windows are tempered glass, and if one ever breaks I probably have an expensive issue matching/replacing five 6' x 3' pieces of tempered glass. Code requires either tempered glass, or less height (I don't remember what is allowable), so you could turn that into 10 3' windows, but I would not want to.
Are you big on home improvement? I always love it when it's done but equally hate to plan and go through it! :) It's not the money issue since it's planned ahead but I'm always the one doing a lot of thinking and the work.

Is sun room really compatible with tennis? My sister's sun room got partly destroyed by the kid's football activities.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
No matter WHAT anyone might see the pros do ... NOBODY on this forum should have a variable racquet face angle through the forward stroke of a slice backhand ... ... ... from behind the ear ... down to contact ... and to follow through. Aside from a SLIGHT lowering of the arm from the shoulder prior to contact ... the ONLY real "flexibility" in the stroke is an extension of the elbow ... from 90 degrees (at racquet-back) ... to straight (at contact). The wrist is firm throughout ... the strongest natural angle between racquet throat and forearm being about 130 degrees ... which also does NOT change ~ MG
Pro tennis may as well be a different sport from what almost everyone here plays. This endless obsession over looking like the pros (the so-called "ATP forehand" being one of the worst offenders) is so incredibly misguided
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Pro tennis may as well be a different sport from what almost everyone here plays. This endless obsession over looking like the pros (the so-called "ATP forehand" being one of the worst offenders) is so incredibly misguided
Forget all that, though I agree with you wholeheartedly.

The bigger issue is an Aussie looking outside his own country to get advice for the slice. Emerson, Rosewall, Mervyn Rose, Hoad, Margaret Court videos are all you need.

Shame. Shame.
 
Last edited:
Top